Thank you, Miss Campbell

Prompt: Reach

Reaching hand

A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?
–Robert Browning

Yes, thank you Miss Campbell, for teaching us these immortal words, even if teaching  was a terrible chore for you, so you fell back on conducting each of our high school English Lit classes exactly as you had done for far too many years, instead of retiring and reading Paradise Lost over and over. Maybe at first you had passion and interest and a love of teaching. But your droning, distracted voice, reading from a script while we dutifully made just the right amount of notes to ensure we passed this ordeal of a a course, expressed disdain for your vocation and for your students.

I have a high regard for teachers, because they can change lives in dramatically positive ways. They can also stifle and suppress, and turn children away from knowledge and a healthy curiosity about life and literature and science.

I hope Miss Campbell was taken aback when (or if) she read the quote I carefully included in my profile in our high school yearbook, the year we graduated:

A man’s grip should exceed his grasp, or what’s the use of heaven?

Thanks, Miss Campbell, for making English Literature a joke.

Thanks, Mr Cummings, Ms Ferguson, Ms MacGillvary, Ms Farber, Mr Fraser, and so many others for making my school years memorable and stimulating.